With three F1 races completed in 2019, Sophie is taking us through her review of the season, taking a look at the key moments that shaped these races.
“I’ve loved watching F1 this year! Here’s my review of the season so far. This year’s F1 season has consisted of three epic races; Australia, Bahrain and China, all featuring some impressive overtakes, rapid rookies and an extremely close midfield…
In Australia, Mercedes locked out the front row in both qualifying and the race, despite Ferrari being quicker in testing. Valtteri Bottas triumphed over his teammate, 5x world champion Lewis Hamilton. Although later we discovered there was had been a problem with Hamilton’s bodywork, Bottas still managed to finish 19 seconds ahead of his teammate and even further ahead of Max Verstappen, who was trying to catch Hamilton for the last 27 laps, with no luck. Mercedes proved that they were going to put up a real fight to defend their championship, and Bottas showed he was going to be a contender for the title of world champion, this season.
In Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton took the victory, after Ferrari had a bad day. Vettel tried to defend his podium position against Hamilton, however he cracked under the pressure and spun, causing a puncture to his tire, and the loss of his front wing. Things got even worse for Ferrari as Charles Leclerc, who was leading the race, suffered from an engine problem, causing him to lose 40km/h on the straights and allowing Hamilton and Bottas to overtake him on the closing laps of the grand prix. I felt bad for Leclerc, as he had been leading the majority of the race, and was on track to win it, yet he finished second due to no fault of his own. Rookie Lando Norris showed his potential, fending off Kimi Raikkonen to finish 6th, despite starting 10th.
The 1000th Grand Prix, in China, showed Hamilton once again on top form, taking the win. There was once again frustration from the Ferrari team, after Leclerc was ordered to let Vettel by him, even though they were both tire saving and there was little time between them. Leclerc got the weaker pit stop strategy and got out 4 seconds behind Max Verstappen, who finished the race fourth ahead of Leclerc. I think Ferrari should have let them race as it’s unfair to Leclerc, who put up a brilliant performance in Bahrain, to have to let his same speed teammate by and get the weaker pit strategy. If Ferrari hadn’t told Leclerc to let Vettel by, and allowed them to race, I think both Leclerc and Vettel could have got better positions. Rookie sensation Alexander Albon, had an incredible race, moving up from the very back of the grid (the result of a crash in practice, which meant he was unable to complete a lap in qualifying) to 10th place. Pierre Gasly did well this race, finishing 6th behind teammate Max Verstappen. Although some critics have doubted Gasly’s pace, I think they are forgetting how hard it is to move into a new, highly competitive team, with a mountain of pressure on you, Daniel Riccardo’s shoes to fill and superstar Max Verstappen to compete with.
I’m very excited to see how this season will play out; anybody got tickets to Azerbaijan?!”